The Mate on Dizengoff is one of these bars, where you feel at home immediately. No matter where you are from, no matter where you are heading: you step in from noisy Dizengoff street, you sit down at the bar or in the living room style lounge to the left, and it feels like coming home. Not for nothing coined the british the term ‚public house’ – the pub. That’s the Mate.
Happy hour happy time
No wonder, the Mate is popular for the locals’ afterwork-beer: There’s nothing like coming ‚home’ to a cold beer after a long day at work. The special happy hour prices from 4 to 8 in the evening surely help that tradition. A Guiness, Maredsous or Stella from the tap comes for around 20 Shekels at that time of day. And something to bite with the beer, like a small dish of delicious Labane with crispy bread, bills at only 14 Shekels.
If the day was really tough, why not kill it off with Maredsous. A Belgian beer with an alcohol-level of a good glass of red. Watch it, before dinner! A new addition to the wide selection of beers on tap is the Negev. It’s a sweet and flavoury but at the same time dry and refreshing Israeli boutique-beer. Very nicely balanced. Very much worth trying.
Bar food means bar food
No, there’s no chef fiddling with food in the kitchen. At the public house, the bar-keeper is the man in charge. It is a bar, after all. But don’t mistake that with bad or boring food: There’s a truly lovely liver-pate, served with a sweet confit. Or the mentioned labane. Or oily wrapped wine-leaves, that make a great foundation for another shlish (Hebrew for ‚third’) or chetsi (Hebrew for ‚half’) of beer. Take your pick.
There’s also Whiskey specials, and of course everything else you would look for, once you feel like a change of tastes. But why change the ritual?
Sports – to go with that blonde or amber
With all that said, the Mate is not only about drinking. It’s a lively crowd, a happening place. And what goes well with a cold drink? Sports. There is a handful of tvs around the room showing israeli and internatinoal sports, if the barkeeper thinks ist worth seeing. If it’s a really big game, the large flat-screen is on, and it’s tv-sound instead of music in all of the bar. On most other nights, it’s the tv in the homey lounge that screens a silent game of Champions League soccer or basketball.
And, last but not least, the Mate features a pool table that’s busy all through the night. The music to go with all this spans from israeli pop to rock-classics, from Pearl Jam back to the 80s and on to Radiohead.
If the old north isn’t your territory, there’s a good chance for Mate closer to your beat. The one on Dizengoff, we visited, was the first in town. It opened seven years ago and was since joined by the Mate in Florentin on Vital Street and one on Lincoln. Find your spot and: cheers, Mate.